D-mannose is a natural sugar that some people use to treat urinary tract infections. As people with diabetes are more prone to developing bladder infections, they may be tempted to try D-mannose as a treatment. However, its safety and efficacy are currently unclear.
A person with a urinary tract infection (UTI) who also has diabetes should discuss their treatment options with a doctor. D-mannose can treat these infections, but some of the
Some people may also try drinking cranberry juice as an alternative way of treating a urinary tract infection, but this may have adverse effects on a person’s blood sugar.
This article explains what D-mannose is and which foods contain it. It also looks at the existing evidence for using D-mannose to treat UTIs and other conditions and discusses whether it is safe for people with diabetes to consume.
D-mannose is a natural sugar that scientists call a monosaccharide. It is present in several foods.
However, D-mannose is not the body’s primary energy source, with blood concentrations being less than
Therefore, when someone consumes D-mannose in foods, the body converts some of it to glucose to use as energy and combines some of it with proteins to form glycoproteins that have various functions, including playing a role in immunity.
- fruits, such as:
- legumes, such as:
- aloe vera
- baker’s yeast
- egg whites
Retailers market D-mannose as a supplement to treat UTIs, for which many people consider it a
The primary use for D-mannose is to help treat UTIs, and this is where scientists have focused much of their research. However, there is some evidence that D-mannose may be beneficial for other conditions, too.
Urinary tract infections
The most widespread use for D-mannose is for UTIs. UTIs include cystitis, which causes urgency, pain, and discomfort when urinating.
People with diabetes are more prone to developing UTIs, with one study finding that 8.2% of adults with diabetes in the United States had at least one UTI within the 1-year study period. Research indicates that this high prevalence is because people with diabetes have fewer antimicrobial proteins that protect the kidneys from fecal bacteria.
Anti-inflammatory and immune regulating
D-mannose can combine with proteins in the body to form glycoproteins, which are present in cell membranes and other tissues. The way the body metabolizes glycoproteins can affect a person’s risk of developing diabetes.
It is also important to note that D-mannose may cause side effects.
Learn about home remedies for a UTI here.
Contact a doctor first
Due to how D-mannose affects blood sugar and the lack of conclusive evidence to confirm its safety, people with diabetes should not take it unless a doctor has recommended that they do so.
If someone with diabetes has a UTI, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics. If these are ineffective or the UTI is recurrent, the person should contact the doctor to discuss alternative treatments.
Cranberry juice as an alternative
Some people take
Learn whether a person can treat a UTI without antibiotics here.
As D-mannose is a sugar, it can affect people with diabetes. The research on whether these effects are positive or negative is currently inconclusive.
D-mannose seems to be effective for treating recurrent UTIs, but if someone has diabetes, they should consult a doctor before using it. They should also ask the doctor about the suitability of other treatments for UTIs, which include antibiotics and cranberry juice.